Many prestigious economists, including Paul Krugman and David Blanchflower make clear the implications of the programme of swingeing cuts our government embarked on today. Our expensively educated chancellor does not know his history: cut too deep and you exacerbate recession, as well as causing immense human pain and suffering. He has forgotten the persistent poverty and unemployment of the 1980s, the conflict of the miners’ strikes and the riots of Brixton and Tottenham (let alone the outcome of austerity in Weimar Germany).
Those who voted for the Lib-Dems are still waiting to hear the moderate voices of Vince Cable or Chris Huhne, while Labour is rudderless and about to fail us again, with its current attraction to “debating a better yesterday”.
The Green Party is offering the only political alternative: a real Green New Deal. This is about using public expenditure to take us out of recession and to keep people in work instead of squandering public resources to keep big business happy. Expensive PFIs, unnecessary demolition and rebuilding of housing and schools, and VAT cuts to encourage wasteful purchases are not part of this policy. It’s about investing our shared resources carefully and systematically in the greener infrastructure that we so desperately need to tackle climate change. It’s about a defence policy aimed at real threats, rather than pointless foreign wars and pretending we still have an empire. It’s about a resilient economy for the future of ever-rising fuel prices which Deepwater has brought even closer. Our country needs a far-sighted and courageous leadership to make all this happen.
At a local level this will mean the Council protesting against central cuts. It will involve a search for innovative funding solutions from using prudential borrowing to community bonds. It will involve solutions to avoid job losses – by reducing working hours or maybe even taking pay freezes instead. Our Green Party councillor, Maya de Souza, will push for Camden to seek such local solutions to avoid the human pain of large scale unemployment.